Partnership  for  Sustainable  Communities
Brownfields Pilots - National City, California
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Department
of Transportation (DOT) are working together under the Partnership for Sustainable Communities to ensure that federal
investments, policies and actions support development that is more efficient and sustainable. This partnership is based
on "liability principles" that guide inter-agency collaboration and support the integration of: safe, reliable and economical
transportation; affordable, energy-efficient housing; and sustainable reuse of idle or underutilized land. Pilot communities
were selected by EPA's Brownfields Program with input from HUD and DOT. Pilots receive technical assistance and support
from EPA, HUD and DOT. The three agencies are working with the Pilot communities to build on past investments, as well as
identify opportunities to link housing, transit and brownfields, and coordinate sustainability resources.
Project History
The Westside Affordable Housing Transit-Oriented
Development (TOD) in National City, California, is the
direct result of five years of community involvement by
residents of the Westside Neighborhood; it is intended to
be the catalyst for overall neighborhood change through
the Westside Specific Plan (the city's plan for the area).
In 2004, a series of community workshops was held
in which hundreds of residents and business owners
discussed priorities for reinventing the neighborhood.
Of top importance was the elimination of toxic hazards
believed to be the cause of high  asthma rates. The
second priority was the community's desire to reclaim
the neighborhood for residential  uses, especially
affordable housing for families. In fall 2008, the city held
a community design workshop that was attended by
more than 80 residents and business owners. As project
predevelopment for the Westside Affordable  TOD is
now underway, the development team hosts  community
meetings and attends the Westside Neighborhood
Council to facilitate open communication about the
The Pilot focuses on a 14-acre, city owned public
works site - the proposed  site of the $69 million TOD
project. The  project will consist of 201 affordable
housing units located  immediately  adjacent to the
existing 24th Street Trolley Station  (light rail serving
metropolitan San  Diego). The site  is contaminated with
hazardous materials (metals, benzene and hydraulic
fluid), as identified during an ongoing EPA Brownfields
Assessment grant and through two Targeted  Site
Investigations performed by the California Department
of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). DTSC will oversee
required remediation of the site for redevelopment.
  Pilot Technical Assistance Activities
      Develop recommendations on green remediation
      techniques, habitat restoration and open space analysis
      Host community workshop to engage the community
      and promote community participation and input
      Develop recommendations for developing a
      formula to rank sites with incompatible industrial uses
      for amortization
Pilot Activities
National City is seeking to redevelop the 14-acre
site in a sustainable manner by incorporating green
remediation components  into a site design that
promotes energy efficiency, stormwater and flood
control management, walking and park trails, and
reduced dependence on fossil fuels.  The city is also
addressing the toxic hazards believed to be contributing
to the high asthma rates in the neighborhood by
preparing an amortization plan to relocate and/or close
highly polluting industrial  uses that are not compatible
with the Westside Specific Plan.
Through the Pilot, the technical assistance team
conducted a community workshop on November
4, 2010, to educate and inform the community on
green remediation on brownfield sites. The workshop
addressed the 14-acre  site and provided information
on brownfields  redevelopment in a broader context to
educate the community on the benefits of sustainably
cleaning up and reusing brownfields. During the
workshop, participants  engaged in an interactive
exercise to obtain input on the preferred  open space
reuse (e.g., community garden, active recreational

space) of the former gas station portion of the 14-acre
site. The final plan to redevelop the 14-acre site as a
community garden or active recreational space is being
informed by the November 2010 community workshop
and will be further shaped by the ongoing Community
Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) process.
Input from the community workshop, site visit and
existing conceptual plan fed into a  recommendations
report that addresses open space reuse on the former
gas station; green remediation and habitat restoration
approaches for the  14-acre development; and the
broader development context. The recommendations
focused on the economic, social and environmental
impacts of cleanup  and remedial action. The technical
assistance team will also provide recommendations
for developing a formula to rank sites for amortization,
beginning  with the most polluting and underutilized

The expected outcomes from this Pilot  include:
  •  Using  National  City's former public works property
    for affordable housing as a test of HUD's new
    policy for building affordable housing on former
    brownfield sites.
  •  Identifying strategies for National City and other
    similar communities to transition from their
    industrial pasts, identify new commercial activities,
    and relocate or reduce the impacts of  incompatible
    industrial uses, located in primarily residential
  •  Documenting barriers and opportunities for
    federal agency cooperation in the restoration
    and expansion  of urban waterways through the
    integration of the Paradise Creek habitat area into
    the site and improving connectivity of the former
    public works property into the neighborhood.
  •  Producing a report summarizing recommendations
    for revitalizing the 14-acre former gas station
    portion of the larger Westside Affordable Housing
    TOD project as open space or natural habitat.
  •  Producing a report summarizing recommendations
    for amortizing incompatible industrial uses near the
    development site.
                        Conceptual plan for the Westside Affordable Housing TOD project
                         Major Technical Assistance Partners
                         Environmental Protection Agency
                         Department of Housing and Urban Development
                         Department of Transportation
                         City of National City, California
                       The expected completion date for the National City
                       Pilot is March 2011. For more information on this Pilot,
                       please contact Sara Russell at (415) 972-3218 or
                       mssell.sara ©
            United State;
           i Agency
Partnership for Sustainable Communities Fact Sheet - National City, CA • January 2011 • EPA-560-F-11-012